Local News for Wednesday 26th April 2017

MacNeil to stand again for SNP
Na h-Eileanan an Iar’s sitting Member of Parliament Angus B MacNeil has been confirmed as the SNP’s candidate for the snap General Election on 8th June. Mr MacNeil said it had been ‘a great privilege’ to serve the people of the islands in Parliament for the past 12 years. Since re-election in 2015 he has been chair of the Energy Committee and is now chair of the House of Commons International Trade Committee.  Western Isles SNP Convener Margaret Martin said:  “Angus is a hard-working and respected MP and we can depend on him to stand up for the islands.”

Weather disrupts transport
Strong north winds and swell led to ferry disruption yesterday, with the MV Loch Seaforth remaining in Ullapool after her morning crossing, and taking up service again at 5.30pm. The swell was expected to make crossing times longer, and Monday night’s freight crossing was also cancelled due to the conditions. The Master of the Loch Seaforth posted film of yesterday morning’s crossing, which those with a strong stomach can view via a link on our Facebook page.
Psalmboat to reach Edinburgh
The Lochs art project Psalmboat is to feature at Tradfest in Edinburgh on Friday 5th May. First performed in 2008, the event focuses on the custom of psalm singing on village boats, as members of the congregation crossed Loch Erisort after church services. The sea was the highway before the road around the head of Loch Erisort was built in the mid 1950s. In Edinburgh next week members of the Lochs community will share stories and accounts told by those who took part in the psalm-singing in boats in their youth. Film from the re-enactments in 2016, poetry and artwork will also be included. The presentation will also be part of the Luminate Festival in Harris and Uig later this year.
First children’s award presented
The first Gaelic Writing for Children Award was presented last week to Mary Gillies, who won a £500 prize, and the chance to have her manuscript considered by Acair Books. The award, presented on Friday at An Lanntair is a partnership between An Lanntair, Acair Books and Western Isles Libraries which aims to encourage new writers for children. For its launch year, the award was funded through a grant from the Carnegie UK Trust. Agnes Rennie, Manager of Acair Books said: "This year Acair Books celebrates its 40th anniversary, and so it was a particularly special year for us to support this award.  Many of the first books Acair published were for children and inspiring a love of books and reading among the young is still at the heart of what we do." It’s hoped that the new award will now become an annual event.
There’s football tonight in Coll, where Back meet Point in the Lewis and Harris League, while on Friday there are four league  matches – Aths versus Ness at Goathill, Point versus Lochs at Ionad Stoodie, another match at Coll where Back welcome Stornoway United, and Westside hosting Carloway at Barvas. All matches kick off at 6.30pm.